Saturday, December 04, 2004

School home work -- Seinfeld

I received an email from a person called Greg Baxter from Australia. He is studying in high school and apparently his school homework involves a paper on seinfeld. I was kind of happy that such things (variety in homeworks) happen at school. I really wish we had similar projects in high schools in India. It was mostly on volumteric analysis, lead nitrates, TanA, TanB physics experiment and other boring stuff :-) Hell!! my biology teachers skipped chapters 8 & 9 concerning female and male reproductive system. So The only two "item songs" we had at school was also taken away. I think people who go through an experince of writing about seinfeld at school should thank their school system for this experience. I really envy them now.

The mail I received went something like this

Hi, I hope you're well. My name's Greg Baxter. I'm from Australia and came across your name on the Seinfeld yahoo fan group. If you're still a pretty big Seinfeld fan, I'm writing as I'm researching the show, it's characters and themes, for my media studies course at high school. I had to pick a comedy show and this is a brilliant, very well written one, as you know. My reason for writing is if I can find them, I have to also try my hand at surveying (preferably advanced) fans on a few questions and the first ones that are below. I can't answer and would be grateful to hear from you. As Seinfeld fan sites and fan discussion forums are pretty thin on the ground, if there are any other eloquent, witty Seinfeld show fans you know or admire, please let me know how I can reach them, if possible. I can mention you recommended them, or not mention anything, if preferred.

Question 1. What (and why) are your 3 fave Seinfeld episodes ?

Question 2. Who are your 3 fave Seinfeld show characters from seasons 1 - 9 and why (for each one) ? It can be one of the 4 main characters, a minor recurring character, or a character who only appeared just 1, 2 or 3 times in the series, that you wish could've appeared more often.Thanks so much for your time. I hope to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Greg

What I appreciated most was that nowadays students (high school students) get to log onto the net and contact people around the world to gather information about high school projects. In my school days such a process was encapsulated into a concept called "after-school tuition classes"

Anyway! Its a while since I saw Seinfeld . My opinion on comedy series goes like MASH > Simpsons > Seinfeld > rest-of-the-world. I tried to answer his questions but I feel I may not have researched/thought hard enough ( I just typed my answers on-the-fly)

Here is a C & P of my reply to him.

Question 1. What (and why) are your 3 fave Seinfeld episodes ?

This is difficult.. well if ihave to pick three

1) The episode where geroge sleeps under his desk. this is just amazing! he has worked out his own theory of "looking dissapointed gives out a perception that you are busy". Well it cracked me up because I wanna sleep at work and it gave me a nice idea :-)

2) The episode where Elaine and George reverse roles. Elaine becomes dumb(almost like george) because she hasn't had sex in a while. George on the other hand becomes a genuis of Einstein proportions because he stops having sex. The way seinfeld explains this transformation with a cabbage ( as metaphor to george's brain and says 98% of the cabbage has been thinking about sex and now its being put to some use) is amazing.

3) The episode where they get caught in the parking lot unable to find where they parked their car. Especially Jerry's explanation of the pee'ing permit he's got, which allows him to pee anywhere he wants, is just amazing. Some parking lots are really confusing ****( watch my next blog for an anecdote on this)****. I think I related to this episode because if u forget where u parked its almost impossible to find out. I have struggled myself..Moreover, to make a near 24 minute episode in a parking lot and take us through so many situations ( almost adventures) and make us meet so many characters ( those two powerfully built men Elaine picks up a fight with). I think the writers of Seinfeld have done a good job.

Question 2. Who are your 3 fave Seinfeld show characters from seasons 1 - 9 and why (for each one) ? It can be one of the 4 main characters, a minor recurring character, or a character who only appeared just 1, 2 or 3 times in the series, that you wish could've appeared more often.

George: He is the repository of just about every weakness found in humans. He (like Frank Burns of MASH fame) represents just about anybody we know. I like the way he brings out his insecurity, his fear. Here is a man who has never been successfull ( and he himself is partly to blame for it)..never been lucky and so his mind has been damaged by years of failure ( oh! and "george what did you parents do to you?" also). Although not many wud be in such a bad situation I guess there wud be phases when you screw up a math course and adopt a cautious mode until the next time u ace one. If you fail 5 times in a row..ur mind is screwed and it takes a long time to recover

Kramer: Well its just because ..inspite of all his screw-ups and schemes ( the post office write-off, the NYC-michigan beer bottle scam) he is a very honest man with lot of values. You will watch him admonish jerry for all the "ethical" "adjustments" Jerry or George wud make. He is the color of the show the character with no rules and no job. He( not seinfeld) is what everybody wants to be ..a sort of carefree character who doesn't know crap about corporate world and all the other materialistic things. Very good character development.

J.Peterman ( of Peterman's Publishing -- Elaine's boss): Well!! here is a character among all "side" characters. I think the person who played the role has great potential as an actor ( i am sure I've seen him in some other show). Mostly what works for this person is his diction or his accent. His peculiar way of stressing words. He says almost inane things with so much passion, in such a funny way that you can't help feeling sorry for him or laughing along with him. This is one character apart from kramer where you dunno what to expect. He can do anything. He picks and likes something which we don't expect a person of his stature ( he owns the publishing business) to like.

All the best!

- bharath

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey!!!had to respond to this....

man!!!!wish i had a project like this for BE....but instead its gonna be pattern recognition systems or somethin!!!:):)

good choice of the episodes!!!...i just downloaded a seinfeld reunion special which aired in the states last week..and it just too awesome watchin snippets of all the classic old episodes...cant wait to get the dvd!!!!

Just off the top of my head...my top 3 episodes of seinfeld wud be:

(1).THE CONTEST- Best episde ever!!!!love the quotes in this one...queen of the castle,lord of the manor,master of my domain...just too brilliant:)

(2).The parking lot one.
(3). Pobably a tie between the soup nazi and the chinese restaurant one..the chinese episode really defined seinfeld....it was the show about nothing and everything!!!!

My three fav characters wud be:
(1)george
(2)kramer
(2)The soup nazi(loves the concept of such a ridiculous character rather than the character himself).


nithin

Anonymous said...

Jai n I watched the Seinfeld Reunion Show that aired a week ago. It was simply superb, and they talked about everything from how the show was conceptualized, to how they started off with a contract of just 4 shows, and in the very next season, how it grew to 13, and then subsequently 22 episodes(they really wondered if they would have material for 22 episodes). Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld I felt were such a team!
My fav characters would be Kramer n Elaine. The DVDs are out. We'll be getting ours soon. Jai can't wait!

Anonymous said...

BTW, the prev comment was posted by me ;-)

~Anu

Hawkeye said...

Nithin,

"the contest" is an amazing episode.. i cant believe i missed it.. infact given one more chance i wud re-think and re-list my 3 fav. episodes differently.

the contest, the intern, george and his smart repartee, miss america(defile), the girl-with-no-bra, are all great episodes.

among side characters george's father is also really good, so is the shady lawyer.

ya its really sad that we dont get homeworks like this. in fact i cant think of an interetsing homework i have done in my life.

Hawkeye said...

Anu,

I havent watched the re-union show. must find a way to d/l from the net and see it. my cousin hopefully shld help me there.

sometimes u wish he'd come back with a new series of episodes.. but it can be more counter-productive (like when chuck jones re-started and killed tom and jerry) and may spoil the taste left by the old episodes.. but still no harm in trying.

> BTW, the prev comment was posted by me ;-)

there are not many people who wud qualify to be the "I" in "Jai n I". So I knew immdly that it was u. Was it you who posted the comment for the diwali blog or was it another Anu ?

Anonymous said...

Yep! that was me too :-)
Jai made a comment last nite that probably I'm the only one who reads your stupid blogs!
I strongly suggest you take his ass for that when you talk to him next!
~Anu

Hawkeye said...

> Jai made a comment last nite that probably I'm the
> only one who reads your stupid blogs!

what a coincidence??!! I put a site meter to see if anybody at all was interested in my site and guess what 70 people visit it everyday. I was thrilled..

but it does bug me that jai is not among the 70.. the crazy nut case..

Anonymous said...

Let me give a list of not so famous, but great in my mind episodes:

1. The switch - where George helps Jerry to date the girlfriend's roommate.

2. The engagement - George's priceless look when Jerry says he broke up with his GF because she ate her peas one at a time.

3. The Marble Rye - Jerry mugging an old lady for a rye bread and Geroge getting caught with the bread attached to a fishing pole.

There are too many great episodes and even in the bad ones, there are some gems of dialogs. Even now, I watch the reruns occasionally and it still cracks me up.

--Ramesh

Hawkeye said...

//* engagement - George's priceless look when Jerry says he broke up with his GF because she ate her peas one at a time.
*//

"but we shook hands..jerry!" is what george says " we made a deal ". That is really priceless.

Especially the way kramer sarcastically kills of Jerry's engagement plans in a single shot!